Saturday, August 30, 2014
The Labor Day holiday in the U.S. is celebrated on the first Monday in September. This is the same day that Canada celebrates their Labor Day holiday. This year, Labor Day falls on September 1, 2014. Next year, with September starting on Tuesday, Labor Day gets pushed to September 7, 2015.
The history of Labor Day in the U.S. goes back to the labor movement of the late 1800s and became an official federal holiday in 1894, celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events. Prior to 1894, workers who wanted to participate in Labor Day parades would forfeit a day's pay.
Over the ensuing decades, Labor Day has come to symbolize something else, too. In defiance of the Summer Solstice in June (21st/22nd) and Autumnal Equinox in September (21st/22nd) signaling the beginning and ending of the summer season, Labor Day has become the unofficial end of the summer season that unofficially started on Memorial Day weekend (the fourth Monday in May in the U.S.). I have to admit that this year's September 1st Labor Day seems too early to call an end to summer. After all, the day before was still August. And the high temperatures certainly feel like summer is still with us. :)
What led up to the creation of a holiday specifically designated to honor and celebrate the workers and their accomplishments? The seeds were planted in the 1880s at the height of America's Industrial Revolution when the average American worked 12 hour days/7 days a week in order to manage a basic living. Although some states had restrictions, these workers included children as young as 5 years old who labored in the mills, factories and mines earning a fraction of the money paid to the adults in the same workplace. Workers of all ages were subjected to extremely unsafe working conditions in addition to insufficient access to fresh air and sanitary facilities.
Labor Unions had first appeared in the late 1700s. As America changed from an agrarian society into an industrial one, these labor unions became more vocal and began to organize rallies and strikes in protest of poor working conditions and low wages. Many of these events turned violent. One prominent such incident was the Haymarket Riot of 1886 where several Chicago policemen and workers were killed. Other rallies were of a more positive nature such as September 5, 1882, when 10,000 workers took unpaid time off from their jobs and held the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history when they marched from City Hall to Union Square in New York City.
It was another 12 years before Congress legalized the holiday. This was primarily brought about on May 11, 1894, when employees at the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives. Then on June 26, the American Railroad Union called for a boycott of all Pullman railway cars thus crippling railroad traffic nationwide. To break the strike, the government sent troops to Chicago. The resulting riots resulted in the deaths of more than a dozen workers. As a result, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in all states, the District of Columbia and the territories (which later became states).
And now, more than a century later, the true founder of Labor Day still hasn't been identified.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
A survey conducted a year ago by MillionaireMatch(dot)Com showed that millionaire men prefer to date women with less money. The survey of a random selection of 15,000 of their members concluded that rich men have very different dating preferences than rich women.
The results showed that a large majority of millionaire men, 79.6 percent, prefer to date non-millionaire women. On the other hand, 84.5 percent of female millionaires do prefer to date other millionaires. That's quite a difference in preferring to date someone of your financial equivalent between 79.6 percent don't to 84.5 percent do.
It was determined that one of the reasons rich men don't want to date rich women is because they want a partner they can take care of whereas with rich women it's a different result. The survey of female millionaires showed that they weren't looking to take care of anyone and would prefer a financially stable partner.
The survey also pointed out that rich women would be more careful with their wealth in marriage than rich men. Eighty-two percent of the rich women surveyed said they would insist on a prenuptial agreement versus only 17.4 percent of the men surveyed who said they would want a prenuptial agreement.
A similar survey found that people who save a lot of money are more desirable than those who spend a lot.
And another such survey showed that dating is easier for "hot women." On the count of three, let's all express our shock and surprise at that one. :)
Saturday, August 16, 2014
We've all seen and heard about the methods used by Graphologists to verify the authenticity of signatures and hand written documents or prove them fraudulent or forgeries. They also claim that your handwriting can reveal clues to your personality. Here are a few of the indicators they look for when reading your personality traits.
Small Handwriting—is associated with being studious, shy, meticulous and concentrated.
Large Handwriting—is associated with being an outgoing, attention-loving person.
Average Handwriting—is associated with being well-adjusted and adaptable.
Wide Spacing Between Words—means you enjoy your freedom. It also means you typically don't enjoy large crowds and you don't like to be overwhelmed.
Narrow Spacing Between Words—means you can't stand to be alone and tend toward crowds of people.
Rounded Letters—is typically associated with being artistic or creative.
Pointed Letters—can mean you are intense, intelligent, curious and aggressive.
Connected Letters—are associated with being logical and systematic.
Crossing The Very Top Of The T—generally means you have good self-esteem, are optimistic and ambitious.
Crossing The Middle Of The t—generally means you are confident and comfortable in your own skin.
Leaving Open Letters (such as not closing the O)—typically means you are expressive, social and talkative.
Writing A Closed Letter O—means you are a private person and an introvert.
If The Dot On Your i Lands High Above The Letter—you are considered to be imaginative.
If The Dot Lands To The Left Of The Letter i—then you might be a procrastinator.
If The Dot Is Perfectly Over The i—you are considered to be detail-oriented, empathetic and organized.
If You Dot Your i With A Circle—you are considered to be a visionary or child-like.
If The Dot Looks More Like A Slash—you might be overly self-critical.
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Please welcome JoAnne Myers to my blog this week. She's going to share some tips with us about writing true crime and tell us about her book, THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY.
JoAnne, I turn things over to you…
First you must pick an interesting crime. I specialize in homicides in my home state of Ohio. Routinely reading newspapers will help the writer find murder cases. Find a homicide that has numerous good elements that will hold one’s interest.
Next you must start the investigation of your chosen crime. To find my information, I read newspaper reports of the homicide. I searched court documents for witness reports, and courtroom testimony. I interviewed witnesses. Persons that either were present when the crime occurred, or had after the fact information. Try to locate the victim’s family members, and see if they want their side of the story told. If the case goes to trial, the Defense’s job is to discredit the victim. To portray the deceased as the “bad guy.” This type of mud slinging does not sit well with loved ones of the victim. Give them a chance to speak for the deceased. Anyone that was involved with the case, will have something of interest to report. Don’t forget to locate the reports of the arresting officers and the homicide detectives. Try to locate the coroners report, any eyewitness, or person’s who reported hearing an altercation or gunshots.
Keep abreast of updates, and read everything that was written about the case. Build a relationship with the law enforcement officials who are involved in the case. I personally live in a very small town, where most person’s know one another, and many have relatives or close friends that are involved with law enforcement. Attend the trial and speak to everyone you can about the criminal, the victim and prosecution and defense witness.
Last but not least, sit down and write. Now it is time to tell the story of the crime. Hopefully you will find most of the information you need in your copious notes—if not go back and get the answers you need. Never throw away any notes or information concerning the case. Not even after the trial is over with, and the story is written. Most convicted felons apply for numerous appeals, which take years to dissolve. Some cases never seem to end; The Crime of the Century was such a case. When the accused was found guilty and sent to prison, he and his attorneys, who always believed him innocent, continued fighting for his freedom. That blessed event came after the convicted spent five years on death row. He was cleared with DNA, but it still took nearly thirty years to find the true killers. If you want your true crime novel to be believable, you can't fudge the facts.
Blurb for The Crime of the Century-a shocking true story
The residents of Rolling Hills, a hamlet in southeastern Ohio, were horrified when the dismembered bodies of two missing teens were pulled from the local river. Multiply suspects surfaced, but only one was railroaded, Richard Allan Lloyd, a known nudist and hothead.
What began as an evening stroll turned into what found only in horror films, and dubbed ‘the crime of the century’. 18 year old Babette, a voluptuous beauty contestant and horsewoman, and her 19 year old boyfriend Shane Shoemaker, a jealous and possessive unemployed printer, were last seen crossing a trestle bridge. Within fourteen days, their mutilated torsos and severed heads and limbs were unearthed, suggesting satanic cult activity.
With an investigation smeared with contradicting statements, and a botched crime scene, investigators built a flimsy case against Richard Lloyd. The three-week trial was based on police corruption and ineptitude, fairytale theories, and forensic mishandling.
This heinous crime shattered the sense of security for Rolling Hills, destroyed two families, and forever scarred the town. This story is a detailed account of finding justice for Babette and Shane, and of one man’s perseverance to gain his freedom from death row.
What took place within a few hours became legendary for the close nit community.
At 5:45 pm., Chief Barron used his walkie-talkie, to radio Mowery, who stayed at the command post with Dale and Sarah. Only a few short words were needed.
“We found something, but we don’t know what it is,” said the chief.
What searchers found . . . was unthinkable.
Just 150 yards north of the railroad trestle spanning the Hocking River, Sheriff Jones and one of his deputies reported “something entangled in debris,” near their small boat.
The officers initially said they believed the object was an animal carcass. Once it was dislodged and floated down stream, they realized it was human.
The officers then followed the remains and discovered 30 yards south of the first torso, the second torso was located. Both torsos were reportedly snagged against brush along the riverbank just west of The National Supply Company.
Both torsos were reportedly nude and so badly decomposed, officers said they were unable to determine their sex.
Upon the discovery, Will Kernen broke down and was seen “running and screaming” from the area. The remains were pulled to shore and coroner Rausch was summoned to the riverbank.
Law enforcement personnel cleared the immediate area of non-official personnel. Afterward, they stationed themselves around the perimeter of the area while the bodies were examined.
Many searchers, upon leaving the crime scene, were overheard by reporters asking one another “Are the authorities looking for one killer or two?”
After his initial examination of the bodies, the coroner said he was unable to rule on the cause of death or what sex the torsos were. What he did say, was that if one man committed both murders, it was “during a great rage” and by someone with something “very personal” against one, or both, of the victims.
I have been a long-time resident of southeastern Ohio, and worked in the blue-collar industry most of my life. Besides having several novels under my belt, I canvas paint.
When not busy with hobbies or working outside the home, I spend time with relatives, my dog Jasmine, and volunteer my time within the community. I am a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild, Savvy Authors, Coffee Time Romance, Paranormal Romance Guild, True Romance Studios, National Writers Association, the Hocking Hill's Arts and Craftsmen Association, The Hocking County Historical Society and Museum, and the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center. I believe in family values and following your dreams. My original canvas paintings, can be found at: booksandpaintingsbyjoanne.com
Other books by JoAnne:
"TWISTED LOVE," a true-crime anthology
"WICKED INTENTIONS" a paranormal/mystery anthology
"LOVES', MYTHS' AND MONSTERS'," a fantasy anthology
“MURDER MOST FOUL” a detective/mystery
“POEMS ABOUT LIFE, LOVE, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN”
Other books soon available:
“FLAGITIOUS,” a detective/mystery anthology available August
Order your copy of “The Crime of the Century” by JoAnne Myers here http://www.blackrosewriting.com/non-fiction/the-crime-of-the-century-a-shocking-true-story
Saturday, August 2, 2014
There are almost 200 countries in the world. Even if you are a knowledgeable global citizen, I'll bet there are some items on this list that will be new to you. There are two countries that made it on the list twice (does not include honorable mentions, which are not listed here)—Canada for #6 and #19, and Russia at #3 and #17.
My disclaimer—this list was sent to me in an email and is a couple of years old. I have not personally checked out these facts or updated the list.
25) Covers The Most Time Zones:
This honor goes to France, covering 12 time zones (when you include everything such as overseas territories). The United States is next with 11 time zones, then Russia with 9 time zones.
24) Most Likely To Disappear Beneath The Waves:
With global warming and rising sea levels, the residents of the Maldives will be the first to suffer this fate. Their nation is the lowest on earth with an average height of only 1.8 meters (approx. 5.85 feet) above sea level.
23) Most Overweight Population:
More than 95% of the population of the small island nation of Nauru is overweight. This is primarily attributed to the importation of western fast food.
22) Roads Made Of Coral:
Guam doesn't have any natural sand, therefore, the island nation makes its asphalt using a mix of ground up coral and oil rather than importing sand.
21) 350 Sheep For Every Person:
The Falkland Islands' population is about 3000 people and half a million sheep. Needless to say, the major export is wool.
20) Oldest Sovereign State:
Depending on your definition of sovereign state (first acquisition of sovereignty) then Egypt is the winner based on the formation of the first dynasty in 3100 BC.
19) Most Lakes In The World:
Canada can claim this honor with over 3 million lakes (9% of the country) being fresh water and over 60% of all the lakes in the world within its borders.
18) Least Likely Place To Meet Your Neighbor:
With a population of only 4 people per square mile, Mongolia is the least populated country on Earth. The Mong Kok district of Hong Kong has the highest population density in the world with 340,000 people per square mile.
17) Largest Number Of Military Tanks:
Russia has the most tanks of any army in the world (21,000). However, most of these are outdated. The United States has an inventory of 16,000 tanks but they are much more advanced.
16) The Land With No Rivers:
You would think that a country as big as Saudi Arabia would have some sort of flowing water. Well, you'd be wrong. Most of their fresh water comes from desalinization plants or underground reservoirs.
15) Youngest Population:
This is calculated by determining the portion of the population that is younger than 15 years old. The current holder of this distinction is Niger with 49% of its population meeting this criteria.
14) Most Diverse Country:
Culturally, economically, climatically, racially, linguistically, ethnically, and religiously…the winner seems to be India.
13) Fastest Disappearing:
With a decrease in population of .8% annually, between now and the year 2050 the Ukraine is expected to lose approximately 30% of its population.
12) Most Of Its Citizens Live Abroad:
Rough economic times combined with an increased birth rate resulted in large numbers of people leaving Malta so that now there are more Maltese living abroad than within the country.
11) Smaller Than Central Park In New York City:
Although Vatican City is smaller in land size (.17 square mile) than Monaco (.8 square mile), it doesn't have any permanent residents which makes Monaco the smallest permanently inhabited nation in the world.
10) Almost Entirely Covered In Jungle:
Suriname has 91% of its land covered in jungle. Half a million residents live primarily along the coast near the capital with only 5% of the population living inland.
9) Almost Entirely Treeless:
On the opposite end of the scale from Suriname is Haiti. The country has been so badly deforested that you can actually see where the border is between Haiti and the Dominican Republic in a satellite image.
8) Largest Country With No Farms:
There are a number of small nations in the world that have no hint of an agriculture based economy (such as Vatican City), Singapore is the largest of these urban city-states.
7) Most Languages Spoken:
English is its official language, but only 1-2% of the population of Papua New Guinea actually speak it. It's the most linguistically diverse country in the world with over 820 languages (12% of the world's total) spoken there.
6) Most Educated People:
Canada easily has the most educated population in the world with 50% of its people having been educated at the post secondary level. Israel is next with 45% followed by Japan at 44%.
5) The "Country Desert":
99% of Libya is covered in desert and is one of the most arid places in the world. Some regions of the country can go decades without a single drop of rain.
4) Least Peaceful Nation:
Although for the last 3 years Iraq has been ranked as the least peaceful country, the Global Peace Index has declared that in this year Somalia moved up to the top spot.
3) Produces Most Of The World's Oxygen:
Approximately 25% of the world's forests are in Siberia spanning an area larger than the continental United States which makes Russia the largest converter of carbon dioxide into breathable air.
2) Largest Opium Producer:
Afghanistan produces a whopping 95% of the world's opium. Not even 10 years of occupation by American forces has been able to slow down this industry.
1) Most People Behind Bars:
This dubious honor belongs to the United States. We have 2.2 million people behind bars. We have 5% of the world's population but 25% of the world's incarcerated population. [Do we literally have more than our share of criminals or are we more efficient at capturing and prosecuting them?]